NZX drops over 6 percent on opening

Sharemarket drop.
The S&P NZX 50 opened 6.14 percent down and had dropped by over 8 percent at midday. Photo credit: Getty.

The S&P NZX 50 opened at 6.14 percent down at 9698.620 on Friday morning.

At 10.30am, markets had dropped by 6.94 percent and were 8.2 percent down at 9485.700 just before midday.

Friday's falls follow a "record" 57,000 trades made on Thursday, an NZX spokesperson confirmed.

"Two years' ago, 10,000 was big." 

Confirming that the latest falls follow news of US president Donald Trump's 30-day travel ban,  Mohandeep Singh, senior research analyst at Craigs Investment Partners, said that companies exposed to travel are bearing the brunt of Friday's falls.

"On Friday morning, Tourism Holdings is down 15 percent, Auckland Airport is down 10 percent and Mainfreight by 9 percent," Singh confirmed.

Summing up Friday's falls, Andy Bowley, head of research at Forsyth Barr called it a "rout": a term commonly described as 'cause to flee'.

"Given increasing concern over the economic implications of the COVID-19 outbreak, the technical term would be a 'rout'. 

"The biggest falls include tourism/travel-related stocks, e.g. Tourism Holdings, Auckland Airport, and the aged care players," Bowley said.

Ahead of Friday's opening, Mike Shirley, Kiwibank senior trader confirmed that overnight, global markets took an "absolute hammering" with the Dow Jones closing at 9.99 percent down.

"On Thursday, the S&P 500 and NASDAQ dropped by almost 10 percent on the day." 

"European markets were hit even harder."

Unexpectedly, the China Shanghai index closed just 1.5 percent down.

"Upon opening today, the Asian markets have catch up to do, as will the NZX and ASX."

"We [New Zealand] are just caught up in the global tide: right now, that tide is going out rapidly."

On Thursday, the NZX closed at 4.97 percent (effectively 5 percent) down and the ASX200 closed at 5304, down around 25 percent since its peak in mid-February.